After spending nearly a month in Thailand, I left keen to see more of SE Asia, but also wishing I had more time to see more of a country I felt like I’d only just scraped the surface of.
During my time in Thailand, I covered a lot of ground visiting: Bangkok, Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Koh Samui, Koh Tao, Railay, Koh Lanta, Koh Lipe, Koh Phi Phi and Phuket.
If I return sometime in the near future, it’ll likely be to spend more time in Chiang Mai. It’s the perfect place for me to live and teach- affordable, lots of great cafes, an expat/digital nomad community, and strong wifi.
If I can fit it into my schedule I’d also like to visit one of the below places I didn’t make it to during my first trip to Thailand, but am interested in seeing myself.
A short drive (or train ride) north of Bangkok lies Ayutthaya, Thailand’s ancient capital. The Ayutthaya period is thought to be the period during which what is now thought of as “Thai style” was developed.
In temples, in particular, this is when you can clearly see a marked transition from the Khmer style prangs to the bell shaped chedi.
I’d love to spend a day or two wandering what remains of the ruins during a return to Bangkok.
Koh Yao Yoi and/or Koh Yao Noi
Not visiting one of these islands was an oversight during my two weeks exploring Thai island paradise.
My biggest complaint about the islands I visited? Most felt too developed, too touristy, and not nearly ‘Thai’ enough.
I’ve heard tale Koh Yao Yoi and Koh Tao Noi are far less frequented than most Thai islands, still development, and thus, much more serene.
I’ve got my eye on the Sanithya Resort in Yao Yoi- a dream resort at an affordable price. From what I’ve read about Yao Yoi, it sounds like a dream come true- secluded beaches, chill vibes, barely any tourists, strong sense of Thai community and life. Yes, please.
Koh Sok National Park
Safari tents perched riverside surrounded by lush mountains in the oldest evergreen rainforest? Jungle so wild and unexplored you need to hire a guide to go further than 3 km?
Sign me up for that kind of solitude.
For anyone that’s been there, Koh Sok cues scenes of limestone towers, deep valleys, gushing waterfalls and calm lakes.
Said to be a sleepy little town in northern Thailand, visitors equate Pai to an island town in the midst of Thai mountains.
I was interested in visiting Pai when I was in both Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai, but ultimately didn’t make it there because of the time consuming bus ride required to get there and back.
I also skipped it on my first Thailand tour because I heard it’s become pretty Westernized. While that isn’t a total reason not to visit, it did mean I wasn’t interested in forgoing a place like Chiang Rai to visit Pai.
But on a return visit, totally up for getting off the grid and relaxing in this mountain retreat.
Have you ever been to Thailand? Which cities or parts are on your travel wish list?